USA, Greatest Threat to Peace!

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 3 Feb 2014

James Albertini – TRANSCEND Media Service

“Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?”

A global survey conducted by the Worldwide Independent Network and Gallup at the end of 2013 found that people around the world believe the U.S. to be the Number 1 threat. Glen Ford writes that this conclusion echoes the words of Martin Luther King forty six years ago that the U.S. is “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world, today.” Ford said that King believed that “racism, militarism and extreme materialism” were the “giant triplets“ of “interrelated” evil at the root of violence and human suffering that had to be overcome if society was to be transformed.

Are there figures that support the belief that the U.S. is the greatest threat to peace in the world today? Ford cites the following:

  1. Racism: “The U.S. prison population is by far the largest on the planet, in sheer numbers and in the proportion of Americans locked up. No other country comes close – which makes the United States the superpower of mass incarceration… Nearly half of U.S. prisoners are African American, although Blacks are only one-eighth of the total U.S. population. Since Americans make up fully one-quarter of the world’s prison inmates, that means one out of every eight prisoners on the planet is an African American.” In Hawaii, Dr. RaeDeen Keahiolalo-Karasuda, PhD says that 3/5 of prisoners are Native Hawaiians while only 1/5 of the population.
  2. Militarism: “The U.S. military budget is almost as large as the military spending of all the world’s other nations, combined. Together, the U.S. and its NATO allies account for more than 70 percent of global weapons spending. At last count, the U.S. spent six times more on war than China, and 11 times more than Russia. In fact, if you count up the U.S. and all of its allies, they are probably responsible for about 90 percent of total moneys spent on war.” Ford also writes: “America’s police and prison custodial forces dwarf the militaries of most countries – which tells us that militarism is now so deeply embedded in U.S. domestic structures that you can’t tell where the military ends and the police begin.” As you watch sporting events (including the Super Bowl this weekend) ask how the U.S. military has come to have such a place of prominence at these events. Is it anything less than military idolatry?
  3. Extreme materialism: “By that, Dr. King meant great disparities in wealth and income. According to the Suisse Global Wealth Databook, wealth is so unevenly distributed in the United States, it no longer resembles a First World country. Of all the rich nations, the U.S. is dead last in terms of material equality. So, by Dr. Martin Luther King’s measurements, America is in bad shape – more bedeviled by the triple evils than back in his day. In fact, things are much, much worse because…it’s the silence that kills you.” (See the full article by Glen Ford here: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37454.htm )

Ground the Drones!  Say No to War!

  • Mourn all victims of violence.
  • Reject war as a solution.
  • Defend civil liberties.
  • Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc.
  • Seek peace by peaceful means through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.

Hilo Peace Vigil (7 Feb 2014 – 646st week) – Friday 3:30-5 p.m. Downtown Post Office

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James Albertini is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and director of Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action – P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i, 96760, USA. Phone 001 808 966 762 email ja@malu-aina.org   http://www.malu-aina.org.

 

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 3 Feb 2014.

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